US: First field trials of Calyxt GMO potato variety completed

Calyxt, Inc., a Minnesota-based company, announced that it has completed the first field trials of its cold-storable potato in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The USDA has recently advised the potato’s developer, Calyxt, that the cultivar is not a “regulated article” under federal law since it doesn’t contain genes from plant pests. Because most commercial biotech crops incorporate genes from plant pests, these potatoes were subject to environmental analysis and a risk assessment from USDA before they were deregulated. In the case of Calyxt’s “PPO_KO” potato, the variety was created by “knocking out” an unwanted gene that causes bruising, without leaving plant pest genes in the crop. The Center for Food Safety, a prominent critic of genetically engineered crops, is skeptical of the benefits of the PPO_KO potato. More